2011-2012 Annual Report

Notable Accomplishments

  • Dominion Garden of LightsReceived Best of Hampton Roads Awards
    • Best Family Attraction
    • Best Local Attraction
    • Best Place to Hike and Walk
    • Best Place to Picnic
    • Best Banquet Events Venue
  • Added synchronized lights to Dominion Garden of Lights
  • Eagle Plaza dedicationInstalled a new Eagle Tribute Plaza, thanks to thousands of donations; 1,300 guests attended an October 2011 dedication
  • Acquired Norfolk Consortium funding for Eagle Festival
  • Acquired Norfolk Consortium funding for 75th Anniversary Celebration
  • Installed the Infinity Garden
  • Reached a major milestone: memberships now number over 8,000
  • Presented Eagle Festival and Symposium, a first time event; 2,200 people attended from 19 states and one foreign country
  • Presented Honey Bee Festival, a new event in collaboration with Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia; 1200 attended

Vital Statistics

  • FY 2012 revenue chart275,551 – Total Attendance
  • 17,461 – Children’s programs attendance
  • 608 – Number of children’s programs
  • 4,571 – Adult programs attendance
  • 559 – Number of adult programs
  • 8,193 – Total memberships
  • 762 – Volunteers (groups count as one)
  • 25,270 – Volunteer hours
  • 1,092 – Total functions requiring setup
  • 7,800 – Plants added to permanent landscape (does not include bulbs, pansies and annuals)
  • FY 2012 Expenses chart2,551,660 – Website visits
  • $172,346 – Online sales and donations from 2,152 visitors

 

 

Horticulture and Maintenance

  • Built a new Bicentennial Rose Garden trellis
  • Transplanted 150 roses in the Rose Garden
  • Moved sidewalks in the Rose Garden to fill gaps and make route more navigable
  • Successfully transplanted five large Chionanthus from the Beautiful Gardens trial beds to the Virginia Native Plant Garden and The Enchanted Forest
  • Tree removal at NATO TowerRemoved three live oaks from NATO Tower
  • Planted 598 plants in fall of 2011
  • Acquired approximately 1200 azalea cuttings and 250 plants through a newly formed association with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Azalea Society of America and the American Rhododendron Society
  • Planted approximately 3,200 bulbs in a permanent mass planting
  • Revitalized the Tropical Display House through pruning and selective plant removal
  • Installed new water feature, feeder poles, and freestanding trellises in the Hummingbird Garden
  • Planted approximately 18,000 annuals and bulbs for the winter 2011/2012 annual display
  • Planted approximately 10,000 annuals for the summer 2012 annual display
  • Planted more thanBicentennial Rose Garden 3,000 plants for permanent display (trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, etc.)
  • Installed automation for propagation greenhouse to control fans, vents, heating and cooling
  • Received a grant from National American Rhododendron Society to create interpretive signage for McDonald and Glenn Dale azaleas in the garden
  • Sent seeds of two Anthurium species to Bicton Park Botanical Gardens in England, one of which is a very rare species that is critically endangered in the wild
  • Painted the gazebo at Baker Overlook

Donor Relations

  • Serving Our Community:
    • Day of NatureCreated a new “Day of Nature” scholarship fund for underprivileged children to visit the Garden at no cost
    • Received a grant from The Virginian-Pilot to host 12 homeless ForKids children at the NBG summer camp
    • Doubled revenue in the second year of the Garden Patron donor program with a total of 252 donors
  • Dominion Garden of Lights:
    • Secured a new three-year corporate partnership with Dominion
    • Monday Military Appreciation Nights with USAA: doubled military family attendance
    • Food Lion sponsors again for the 6th year in a row
    • The second annual “Million Bulb Walk” hosted over 2,000 participants
  • Created a new tribute brick opportunity on the Eagle Tribute Plaza along with bench naming opportunities
  • Summer Music SeriesLaunched a summer music series called “Dancing Through The Decades” with Sinclair radio and Hoffman Beverage as sponsors
  • Received a large planned gift from an Evergreen Society member that was used to help pay for a new tram
  • Created a second Video of Thanks that was mailed, emailed and featured on the website to major donors along with annual report listings
  • Implemented an increase in member rates generating $75,000 more annually

Visitor Services

  • Sold 4,189 memberships at the visitor center front desk
  • Initiated a set-up fee of $50 for plant societies resulting in $2,950 in revenue
  • Hosted 43 plant society meetings and 9 plant society shows, regional & national meetings
  • Bridal portrait in Renaissance CourtFacilitated two Civic League picnics
  • Facilitated five regattas with EVSRA which generated $7,548
  • Restructured food service contracts to increase revenue
  • Coordinated Warrior Ride (wounded veterans)
  • Assisted with the Zombie Run
  • Facilitated an “Eagle Ceremony” on Native American Heritage Day
  • Managed 130 wedding events (an increase of 17 events from 2010-2011) attended by 10,538 guests
  • Handled more than 1000 in-bound sales leads (internet, telephone, walk-up)
  • Booked 142 portrait sessions generating $5500 in revenue for weddings
  • Participated in the Uniquely Yours Bridal Show, 200 leads generated
  • Hosted our 4th annual Bridal Open House, 20+ vendors and 55 qualified leads
  • Started a “Weddings at Norfolk Botanical Garden” Facebook page to keep up with current market trends and as a way to share with and reach out to a wider audience
  • Signed a new contract with TheKnot.com for marketing our venue on-line profile which generates wedding leads and on-line event reviews
  • In conjunction with Education, started and maintained a Pinterest.com page, with both wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions boards
  • Updated our portrait photography policy to better serve a wider number of clients.
  • Managed 1,092 total set-ups and tear-downs for the year
  • Refurbished Rose Garden Hall, with Norfolk Botanical Garden Foundation funding, that included new wall paper, new lighting, new Humigard ceiling tiles and repainting

Education and Communication

  • Expanded Facebook public relation efforts; 9,900 fans, 59% increase from FY2010 -2011
  • Amanda Wells awarded the City of Norfolk Tour Guide of the Year from Visit Norfolk
  • Summer camp is for funCoordinated February Fun Month and the Big Bike Bash; guests invited to ride all day, every day, $5 admission all month
  • Collaborated on marketing projects with Dominion, Virginia Stage Company, Nauticus, and Virginia Living Museum
  • A team of seven staff visited Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina to study guest experience
  • Developed cell phone audio tours
  • Made improvements to World of Wonder Children’s Garden
    • Installed new permanent pathways in Plant Safari
    • Replaced the floating raft
    • Installed new signage
    • Installed new resilient paving at the fountains
    • Installed red barn in the Dirt Factory
    • Floral Design classAdded two new sculptures in the Passport Gardens
  • Presented Polar Express and Sundays with Santa; largest revenue ($34,125) and participation (3,379) to date, a 30% increase
  • Had 18 Floral Certificate Program graduates and 9 Intermediate Design graduates
  • Presented three major new workshops: Sustainable Landscaping, Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Conference and the Eagle Symposium
  • Completed 2,351 tram operations – 1,785 public trams, 277 trams for education programs, 193 trams for group tours and weddings, 68 Polar express trams and 28 azalea tour trams
  • Completed 975 public boat tours
  • Purchased new bio-diesel tram and placed it into operation
  • Retired two “critter-crawler” trams after 46 years of service